This previous weekend Rockstar was the sufferer of an unprecedented leak: 90 movies of in-development Grand Theft Auto 6 gameplay have been revealed on-line after a hacker “illegally accessed and downloaded confidential information from [Rockstar’s] systems,” in line with the firm.
The leak already sits amongst the most consequential in gaming historical past for a number of causes, chief amongst them the worth of the focused undertaking: Grand Theft Auto 6 is the follow-up to the most worthwhile leisure launch of all time. For many, the leak is a enjoyable, sudden peek at considered one of the most anticipated video video games of all time. To Rockstar, Take-Two, and their traders, nonetheless, the hack and subsequent leak are sudden, doubtlessly costly roadblocks that threaten the improvement plans for a product value billions.
Every IGN Grand Theft Auto Review
The leak had speedy penalties for writer Take-Two, whose inventory dipped upwards of 6% following the leak, although the lasting results received’t grow to be clear for a while. Rockstar says improvement will “continue as planned,” but solely time will inform how the affect on staff morale and/or improvement practices will finally have an effect on GTA 6.
Following the Rockstar hack, we’ve assembled an inventory of 5 different large leaks that got here on account of a third-party intrusion (hack, theft, and so on.). Less nefarious leaks — equivalent to Walmart Canada’s E3 2018 blowout or the GeoForce Now datamine — aren’t included. (You can discover a listing of such leaks compiled in our Most Infamous Leaks in Video Game History story.)
Half-Life 2 Source Code
In September 2003, Half-Life 2, then considered one of the most-anticipated upcoming video games, had its supply code stolen from Valve’s inner community. The hacker, a German man named Axel Gembe, purportedly shared the code with one other particular person, who then uploaded it on-line, in line with Gembe’s recounting of the occasions with Ars Technica.
Unlike different hackers you may examine on this listing, Gembe claims his motivation wasn’t monetary. Rather, he was a Half-Life fan inquisitive about improvement progress on the sequel. Despite his intentions, the actions have been felony, and Gembe was arrested after falling for a intelligent rouse orchestrated by the FBI and Valve. After confessing his crimes to Valve’s Gabe Newell, Gembe despatched a follow-up e-mail asking for a job. Valve and the FBI took that chance to set a entice, convincing Gembe to elucidate his crime intimately throughout an “interview.”
Gembe finally admitted to his crime in courtroom and was sentenced to 2 years of probation. Half-Life 2 could be launched in late 2004 to essential and industrial success. Things might have labored out for Valve, however in line with Gembe’s recollection of occasions, German police instructed him he was accountable for “damages in excess of $250 million.”
Every IGN Valve Game Review
The Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk 2077 Source Code
In February 2021, CD Projekt was the sufferer of a ransomware assault. The hackers accessed the firm’s inner servers and reportedly pulled the supply codes for The Witcher 3, Cyberpunk 2077, Gwent, and “an unreleased version of Witcher 3,” along with accounting and administration paperwork.
CD Projekt shared the ransom observe on Twitter, which stated the firm had 48 hours to answer defend its knowledge. The firm refused to barter with the hacker(s), and days later, the supply codes have been reportedly offered. According to GamesIndustry, the hackers put the materials to public sale with a beginning bid of $1 million USD and a direct buy worth of $7 million, although it finally accepted an out of doors provide for an undisclosed quantity.
In June 2021, CD Projekt acknowledged the stolen knowledge was being circulated on-line, including it “may include current/former employees and contractor details in addition to data relates to our games.” [sic] CD Projekt stated at the time it was working with a number of legislation enforcement businesses, although there have been no public updates on the investigation in the year-plus since.
Capcom’s Upcoming Games
In November 2020, Capcom suffered a ransomware assault that resulted in the destruction and encryption of knowledge on Capcom’s servers and, subsequently, the publication of its tentative launch schedule by way of March 31, 2025. Among the leaked video games have been Street Fighter 6, Dragon’s Dogma 2, and Resident Evil 4 Remake — all of which have since been confirmed.
Capcom confirmed the hackers left a ransom observe, although “there was no mention of a ransom amount.” The firm stated it “took no steps” to contact the hacker(s). (A report from Bleeping Computer (by way of VGC) claims the hacking group stole 1TB value of knowledge and was demanding a ransom of $11 million in Bitcoin.)
Capcom stated it was working with legislation enforcement in Japan and the U.S. While these investigations haven’t but concluded, Capcom accomplished its personal inner investigation in April 2021, in line with VGC. That investigation decided over 15,000 accounts had undoubtedly been compromised, although the hack may have affected as much as 390,000 individuals.
In addition to safety prices and incalculable damages on its future tasks, Capcom turned the topic of an sudden lawsuit following the hack. According to BBC, photographer Judy Juracek took authorized motion in opposition to Capcom alleging copyright infringement after “at least one” of her artworks appeared in the leaked Capcom information. Juracek sought $12 million in damages, although the case was “amicably resolved” outdoors of courtroom, in line with Polygon.
In 2020, Nintendo was the sufferer of an enormous hack, with over 2TB of knowledge reportedly stolen. The leak, recognized colloquially as the “Nintendo Gigaleak,” included data on canceled video games, prototypes, supply codes, improvement instruments, inner communication, and extra. It’s a leak not like some other, that includes fascinating behind-the-scenes seems to be at Nintendo’s secretive improvement processes.
The leaked materials stretches from the SNES by way of the 3DS eras. Among the most notable discoveries have been a personality mannequin for Luigi in Super Mario 64, a canceled Pokemon MMO, a Yoshi’s Island prototype, and supply code associated to the Nintendo 64, GameDice, and Wii consoles.
Considering this leak pertained to Nintendo’s legacy catalog and consoles, moderately than present or upcoming releases, it is more durable to measure the affect on Nintendo. However, throughout a 2022 investor name, Nintendo did appear to verify the leak led to elevated safety measures, which all however definitely got here at a value.
Frostbite Engine and FIFA 21 Source Code
In June 2021, hackers breached EA’s programs and reportedly stole 780GB of knowledge, together with the supply code for each FIFA 21 and DICE’s Frostbite Engine. As reported by Vice, the hackers gained entry to EA’s community after shopping for stolen cookies for $10 and coming into an EA channel on the office messenger Slack. A consultant for the hackers instructed Vice that, from there, they messaged IT help claiming they wanted a brand new multifactor authentication token after “we lost our phone at a party last night.”
A follow-up report from Vice, particulars how the hackers started leaking the stolen supply code on-line after failing to extort EA. The Frostbite supply code is a very distinctive piece of property that EA has good purpose to maintain secret; it is invaluable as each a blueprint for competitor recreation engine creators and a useful resource for cheat makers, particularly those that create cheats for the Frostbite-created Battlefield on-line shooters.
What do you suppose the largest theft or hack has been over the years? Let’s focus on in the feedback.